Vascular trauma in Penang and Kuala Lumpur Hospitals

M N Lakhwani, B H Gooi, C D J Barras
2002 The Medical journal of Malaysia  
The nature of vascular trauma varies greatly between continents and across time. The aim of this study was to prospectively analyse the demographics, pathology, management and clinical outcomes of vascular injuries in two urban Malaysian hospitals and review of international literature on vascular trauma. From this information, preliminary management and preventive implications will be described. Eighty-four consecutive cases of trauma requiring vascular surgery were prospectively analysed over
more » ... three years at Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Extensive patient demographic and injury data, including the mechanism of injury, associated injuries, angiographic findings, operative details and post-operative complications, were systematically gathered. Most vascular injuries were incurred by males (76/84), with 37% (28/76) of them aged between 21 and 30 years. Malays were most frequently injured (n = 36) followed by Chinese and Indians. Road traffic accidents (n = 49) substantially outnumbered all other causes of injury. Lower limb injuries (n = 57) occurred more than twice as often as upper limb injuries (n = 27). Complete arterial transections (n = 43) and intimal injuries (n = 27) were more common than arterial lacerations (n = 10) and pseudoaneurysms (n = 4). The most frequently damaged vessels were the popliteal/tibioperoneal trunk (n = 33). All patients received urgent Doppler ultrasound assessment and, where possible, ankle-brachial systolic index measurement. Of all patients, 40 received an angiogram, haemodynamic instability making this investigation impractical in others. Primary arterial repair was the most frequently employed surgical procedure (n = 54) followed by autogenous reverse long saphenous vein (LSV) interposition graft (n = 14), embolectomy (n = 5) and PTFE interposition graft (n = 3). The most common post-operative complication was wound infection (n = 11). Amputation, as a last resort, was required in 13 cases following either primary or autogenous reverse LSV repair complicated by sepsis or critical ischaemia. Vascular trauma, especially in conjunction with severe soft tissue, nerve or orthopaedic injury carries colossal physical, psychological, financial and social costs. Associated nerve and venous injury portended poor outcome in this study. Whilst orthopaedic trauma was a common association, the concurrence of occult vascular trauma and soft tissue injury without fracture emphasises the crucial importance of thorough and rapid clinical vascular assessment, investigation and surgical intervention. Fasciotomy, especially for the lower limb, is important for the prevention of compartment syndrome and its, limb-threatening sequelae. Primary preventive road safety promotion and interventions, with attention to high-risk groups (young males and motorcyclists), is urgently required.
pmid:12733167 fatcat:vznjlxxjcfch7myan34nkga6se